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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Got a Burning in Your Heart?

There's just something about passionate people that makes us sit up and take notice. We may not even agree with or hold the same passion, but we listen. Their passion is like a burning fire and while we may or may not catch the spark and burn likewise, we're affected by their fiery heat one way or the other.

Of course the best kind of passion is the one that's planted in your heart by God. It starts small, kindled by a simple observation, a gentle tug of the heart, a word spoken in passing, something you read, or, sometimes, just out of the blue. Then it heats up as God feeds your initial interest with concern, righteous indignation, excitement, what-ifs, and enthusiasm. Before you know it the God-planted passion is burning in your soul and threatening to overflow like a mighty volcano.

That's how it was with Jeremiah, even when he'd "had it up to here" with the people he confronted with his fiery messages of God's wrath, love, and forgiveness.

Then I said, "I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore of His name."
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.
(Jeremiah 20:9)

God's message for His people was burning in Jeremiah and demanding to be preached, even after he had been tortured, imprisoned, and mocked. 

What burns in your heart? 

Are  you passionate about saving the unborn from abortion? Or maybe you're on a mission to bring God's forgiveness and redemption to the mothers who have chosen abortion in the past.

Are you fervent about sharing the gospel? Are you the person who seems to find opportunity to witness of God's love and forgiveness most every day?

Maybe you're passionate about helping underprivileged children. Do you invest in the lives of those who can do nothing in return? Does your heart ache with throbbing pain when you hear of children who are neglected, abandoned, abused?

Do you love spending time with the elderly? Do you have a passion for reaching out to those who are slowing down and can't do as much for themselves as they used to? Do you visit them, call them, know their life stories, take them to doctor's appointments?

Truth is, there are hundreds if not thousands of things that God can give us a holy burning in our chests over. And isn't that a grand thing? Like little embers of God's own passionate heart, we can go out into our world and do a little good--warming it, lighting the way, providing healing, turning up the heat when necessary, and piercing the hearts of others.

But here's the catch.

Sometimes, when we are extremely passionate about something -- thanks be to God -- we can get a little bent out of shape when others don't share our passion.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever resented the fact that others aren't jumping on your band wagon, joining your parade to picket your cause? Have you ever wondered why everyone didn't sign up for your class, your training, your rally, your event? Or maybe you've grown frustrated when the people you just knew would contribute the most, bring the most to the table, didn't even show up much less give a dime.

It's easy and tempting to get frustrated when others don't share our passion or even understand it.

But the truth is, everyone can't burn in their hearts about the same things we're passionate over. If they did we'd all do a lot of good in one area, but we'd neglect to do any other worthwhile things. We'd all be busing kids to church, but no one would be there to teach them. We'd all be saving the unborn babies, but no one would be teaching desperate parents how to raise those children. We'd all be visiting the elderly, but no one would be rocking babies in the nursery. You get my drift, I'm sure.

So if a passion burns within your heart, and I hope it does, let it burn. Feed it. Share it's warmth and light with others. But don't grow discouraged or angry when some do not get it, others don't share it, and still others reject it. Burn baby, burn. You just let your blazing light shine and be faithful to that which God has called you. Don't grow discouraged. Be encouraged. He has given you a burning passion and a specific purpose. Burn on.

Hey, I'd love to know your God-given passion. Here's your chance to tell us all what burns in your heart. Do tell!


  1. So true, Kay, on every count! We get fired up about something, and then discouraged when nobody shares our enthusiasm.

    My passion is small group Bible study. It's easy to get discouraged when people don't come or don't do homework or don't participate. But then I think about Jeremiah and other OT prophets (and Jesus HIMSELF!) who stared at similar blank faces and empty seats, but kept loving people and doing what they were called to do.

    It's not about results, it's about obedience.
    Thanks for such a timely reminder.
    Hugs from VA

  2. Kay,
    Your message was very timely. God has placed two very strong burdens within my heart and now is the "waiting to see His plan" time . . . 1) Several weeks ago, I was ready to step aside from WM because I felt maybe I was in God's way . . . I was frustrated with the lack of desire in others to be in His Word, but devoted time to Facebook, Twitter, even spiritual books, but not the Good Book; then, at a prayer retreat, God said to me in what couldn't have been more clear if it had been completely audible "You've been praying for me to break your heart for what breaks mine . . . well, here it is!" . . . Now, I'm praying over what He would have me do with this revelation; 2) Since October/November'ish, He has been working in my heart to reveal the pains and disgust of human trafficking, especially sexual exploitation of children. Again, what do I do with this? All that being said, thank you for affirmation that everyone will not have the same passions, yet God gave us this for His reason - it is up to me and only me to obey His directions for the individual passion He gave me.

    Thank you . . . Ann Bertschin - WM Leader @ Salem Baptist Church, McDonough


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